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Top 10 Paid Foreign Policy Internships You Can Apply for Every Year

Many government agencies offer paid internships for college students interested in learning about foreign policy. These internships provide an opportunity to work directly with experienced professionals and learn about the inner workings of foreign policy.

Some of the agencies that offer paid foreign policy internships include the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Internships are typically available during the summer months, but some agencies also offer fall and spring semester internships.

Competition for paid foreign policy internships is often very competitive, so it is important to start researching and applying early. For more information on specific opportunities, be sure to check out the opportunities below.

Internship, U.S. Foreign Policy – The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an individual, independent membership organization, research institute, and publisher that was established in 1921. The Blavatnik Internship Program and the Robina Franklin Williams Internship Program are two paid internship programs provided by the organization. The participants of the CFR’s Blavatnik Internship Program and Robina Franklin Williams Internship Program get education in foreign policy and foreign relations, along with capacity building in communication, analysis, and strategic planning.

Along with numerous great opportunities on the following link the Studies Department at the Council has an internship opening. Through study, proofreading, and administrative work, the intern can support the research assistant and fellow. Furthermore, the intern can get hands-on exposure with the methods that academics are using to examine US international affairs and its consequences. By investigating responses and developments to the U.S. Pivot to Asia and U.S. political and intelligence assets used in Europe and the Middle East, the intern can significantly contribute to the content of study group sessions or even the fellow’s articles. This internship located in New York, begins online with the option of some workplace involvement. Nevertheless, participants are able to enroll and finish their job duties entirely online.

Students concentrating on foreign policy or a comparable topic for a bachelor’s or master’s degree are eligible to apply for this internship. By the time they enter an internship, participants should have passed the equal amount of four semesters of college curriculum (excluding AP programs in high school). Other requirements that candidates should possess are: excellent writing and editing skill, great Microsoft Office proficiency, as well as language skills in Mandarin and Russian which are desirable but not essential.

CFR positions are compensated, last 14 to 18 hours, and are available on a recurring basis.

Summer Intern: Foreign and Defense Policy – Counterterrorism – The American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Internships at the American Enterprise Institute provide bachelor, master students, and recent graduates with a great chance to get excellent analytical, research, writing, management and marketing skills at one of the country’s premier institutes. Qualified applicants should typically have a 3.4 GPA or above from a top-tier university or college. This appointment assists AEI Resident Fellow and Critical Threats Project Adviser with investigation and engagement mostly on Salafi-jihadi movement and US counterterrorism tactics. The assistant will help with investigating the Middle East and Africa, as well as the Salafi-jihadi organization and US policies in the region. It features training courses to help interns grow and improve their intel skill sets. Applicants must have excellent verbal and analytical abilities, as well as the capacity to undertake unbiased research and collaborate with others. Effort, self-discipline, technological capabilities, and originality are all highly regarded. Those with a suitable research history within the area or security studies will be prioritized.

Internships with EI run at least ten weeks, and participants are expected to work 20–40 hours each week. Most internships at the AEI are not compensated; nonetheless, students may qualify for an intern grant or scholarship.

Undergraduate Internship Program – Support Integration Officer – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established in 1947 as a civilian intelligence service of the US federal government tasked with gathering, deciphering, and processing homeland security information from all across the world, mostly through human intelligence (HUMINT).

Participants will have the chance to understand the commercial aspect of intelligence as a Support Integration Officer (SIO) Undergraduate Intern with the CIA. Cooperation, innovation, and skill are used by SIOs to provide access points task assistance. They would be available to help in the resolution of tactical support difficulties, as well as the application or creation of new systems and practices to meet the needs of the agency. SIOs excel in their jobs by coming up with creative ideas and forming collaborative partnerships with objective collaborators to deal with ever-changing organizational goals, funds, and work procedures.

Current undergraduate students with the possibility to fulfill the CIA’s basic standards, which include American citizenship and a background check, a valid driver’s permit, knowledge in foreign languages and a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale at the date of submission are encouraged to apply for this internship program.

Internship: Policy Intern – Plan International USA

Plan International USA is a global developmental and charitable organization which works to abolish injustice and gender disparity by partnering with backers, young teenagers, and children all across the globe. Plan International USA’s strategic plan is based on the belief that only local investors can lead to long-term transformation. Plan conducts initiatives with the help of specialist employees that are well-versed in the regional languages, customs, and traditions. Projects are developed in partnership with residents and local authorities, and thus are focused on mutually agreed-upon policy objectives. Plan is offering a chance to those interested in being paid by interning and learning more about this organization.

Plan’s initiatives to implement gender equality and strengthen US international support will be assisted by the prospective intern. The intern would assist in the coordination and promotion of online policy events, video conferences, and activities on these themes designed to persuade decision-makers such as the President and Congress. The assistant helps Plan maintain relationships with external organizations such as USAID, Interaction, MFAN, the US Global Leadership Coalition, the Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition, and many others. Data collection and analysis, coordination and monitoring of promotional operations, and the development of materials and services are all possible tasks.

Europe & Central Asia Division Intern – Human Rights Watch (HRW)

Human Rights Watch is a civil rights surveillance and lobbying group based in New York City. It is recognized because of its thorough research, insightful and detailed reports, groundbreaking and rising outreach programs, and accomplishment in shifting authorities’ and worldwide organizations’ human rights processes and regulations. HRW offers a great internship opportunity in the capital city of Germany, Berlin and is meant for those interested in being a part of the fight against human rights violations.

Human rights violations throughout the ECA area, especially in the former Soviet Union, the European Union, the Western Balkans, and Turkey, will become the focus of the intern. The apprentice will obtain a thorough grasp of the ECA branch’s activities and can operate and collaborate with its experts. Participants will also get the ability to visit human rights-related seminars, training courses, workshops, and events, but also connect with other HRW interns, activists, and staff. As an HRW intern, individuals will use skills learned in the classroom and through community service in a work context. In order to intern in the Berlin bureau, an applicant must be actively registered in a curriculum and qualified for a pflichtpraktikum, which is a required internship related to their education. Candidates with appropriate education in the Western Balkans, the EU, the former Soviet Union, human rights, and international human rights law are encouraged to submit their application for this internship. Proficiency in English is required for communicating, listening, and reporting.

UN Advocacy Intern – Human Rights Watch (HRW)

HRW gives students an opportunity to intern and participate in human rights-related courses, workshops, career development seminars, and special events, and also interact with some other HRW interns and staff in the Geneva, Switzerland offices. As an HRW volunteer, those accepted will be able to apply everything they have been learned in college or in a professional situation. The student can collaborate with other HRW employees and become an important contributor of HRW’s UN Advocacy Division. Participating in Human Rights Council conferences, drafting resolution debates, various UN events, and also gathering information to improve comprehension of the content and update the group on changes, will all be part of the assignment. The intern’s other responsibilities involve researching human rights concerns in regards to UN human rights bodies in Geneva and preparing communication and lobbying documents for the Council.

Candidates who will be registered in a bachelor’s or master’s degree study for the length of the assignment will be given priority. Profound understanding of the UN system is extremely encouraged, and interns would be paid a gross monthly salary if they are a dedicated self-starter and a good team participant.

Policy and Advocacy Intern – ChildFund International

ChildFund is a youth-oriented International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) that has been working with local implementing partners (LIPs), authorities, and some other related stakeholders to ensure that kids grow up in secure circumstances.

The External Engagement Team at ChildFund is searching for policymaking and activism interns with a passion for international policy campaigning and marketing. The responsibilities would mainly concentrate on recommendations to alter US governmental rules and processes for children and adolescents aged from 0 to 29, as well as the protection and reaction to sexual abuse and exploitation. The Childfund Work is situated in Washington, DC, and the internship is compensated with a weekly time investment that varies from 15 to 29 hours.

Legal Trainee – Transparency International

Transparency International is an organization with just a single goal: a world with a future free of corruption in politics, industry, society, and everyday lives. Transparency International secretariat in Berlin is always on the lookout for dedicated legal trainees who want to finish their optional assignment in a non-governmental organization. Students will be exposed to a wide range of legal topics throughout their judicial internship. Trade, patents, and criminal procedure will be discussed, as well as data security and labor legislation concerns. Interns will get a glimpse into the present situation of the battle against fraud throughout the globe, as well as the day-to-day operations of one of the top non-governmental entities working in this sector.

Interest in the subject of anti-corruption is essential, as are excellent analytical and language abilities in both English (organizational speech) and German (both spoken and written), and also a cautious and autonomous work style. At least three months should be devoted on the internship.

International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Intern – World Learning

This internship is offered by the World Learning’s Global Exchange Unit, which manages a diversified portfolio of professional exchanges. World Learning is looking for an intern to help with the execution of the US Department of State-funded International Visitor Leadership Program. This role allows the intern to interact with U.S. and international experts in a variety of sectors, study about major U.S. foreign policy challenges, and assist in the formation of international partnerships.

The ideal applicant will be able to multitask, work individually and productively, as well as interact clearly and accurately with a wide range of partners and stakeholders. A desire to collaborate with individuals from different cultural backgrounds and origins, and also an optimistic, positive mindset, are required. This role largely supports the IVLP, the US Department of State’s flagship professional exchange program. This internship requires permission to be employed in the United States, active participation in an undergraduate course of study, and involvement in the fields of public affairs, charity administration, foreign schooling, and exchange. The intern would work 15-20 hours per week during this paid internship.

Landcom Internship Programme – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is a military alliance made up of 28 European nations, two North American states, and one Asian country. In Izmir, Turkey, a paid internship program is being held to give undergraduate students and recent graduates a chance to intern at LANDCOM. Politics, foreign affairs, counterterrorism, law, economics, technology, logistic support, human resources, fiscal management, bookkeeping, informatics, language service, media, and communications are among the fields of study targeted by the LANDCOM Internship Program (LIP). This paid internship can provide participants with an insight of a famous international organization while also contributing to their resume.

An internship candidate has to be a resident of a NATO member country. Applicants must have completed at least 2 years of college or similar education. Students and recent grads are welcome to apply if their degree has been obtained within the last 18 months.

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About the author

Antonela Jaki

Antonela Jaki is a Political Science graduate and the former President of the Student Assembly at the University American College Skopje. Having graduated with a Magna Cum Laude degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, Antonela specializes in Balkan and Middle Eastern politics, Sustainable Development and International Organizations.